This lovely little exercise of not spending any money, aside from necessities, has been eye opening for me. Probably the thing that has surprised me the most in all of this process is that I feel like we are poorer than ever. No money. Our bank account is constantly making me nervous and I am always waiting for payday.
How did that happen? I mean, what the heck? I haven't spent any money!
Granted, I haven't spent any money on credit cards either this month. That is where the real, true, heartbreaking realization lives: we tend to use our credit cards too often, too much, and for stuff we don't really need. Don't get me wrong, we manage our finances decently well. I was brought up that way. We even have paid off a TON of stuff this year which is super nice. We pay our bills on time. We pay more than the minimum amount due.
But, life happens. Amazon happens, which I know is not a legitimate excuse at all. I know. I know. I know!
In the past few months we have also added on some other expenses even though we have paid off some others. For example, I am going to be paying the hospital for the birth of my child for a while. It would have been nice to not be making the amount of money that we do and qualify for some aid in that area. That is a rant for a whole other day. I do believe the middle class though gets the short end of that stick. It's super unfair. We work hard, pay our bills, and want to have a family. Simple as that. End rant. For now.
We also have had someone come and clean our home and mow our lawn in the last two months or so. It was kind of an experiment for both of us because having a baby changes every single thing and since we both work and I have a billion side businesses going on, it was hard to keep up with stuff. I like cleaning my house. I still think I do it better than the people we have come clean. But, on a weekend, the last thing I am able to do with a crying baby in tow is scrub the crap out of the grout in my bathroom. It's a constant struggle. I don't know why I am trying to justify this but I feel like I need to. I am thinking of going to a once a month cleaning instead of bi-weekly and mowing will cease once we hit the fall. I am constantly hit by the fact that I want to spend time with my kid and not be remembered as the mom with the clean kitchen and the neglected child. No way.
I've managed to not go to Starbucks since June 10th. I am usually a regular at a few coffee houses and the baristas are all probably wondering if I'm dead or moved. The only few times I've had coffee is for work meetings and I don't have to pay for it. I don't think I've ever looked so forward to work meetings in my life. An iced caramel macchiato helps any crappy day get at least a little better. We had quite a few crappy work days lately too. I'll take what I can get.
I have received things from Amazon but they were diapers, wipes, diaper pail bags, and some keurig cups. We have those shipped to us monthly and I see those as necessities.
This has been a good experiment and I only have 6 more days to go. I need to get my eyebrows waxed. I would love a pedicure. I need a hair cut. Maybe I don't need any of these things, but I sure do want them. They help me feel human again.
I feel the need to still overhaul our budget and really hunker down for the next few months. I also feel the need to go through everything we own and just get rid of half of it. Too much stuff.
6 more days.